Bipartisan lawmakers call on governor to add water storage funding to combat historic drought
Assemblyman Vince Fong
September 11, 2021
A bipartisan group of lawmakers from California's Central Valley joined Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County) to urge the Governor to increase funding for more water infrastructure to create a reliable water supply for the Central Valley in this year's budget. Below is a copy of the letter.
Dear Governor Newsom,
Fifty of California's 58 counties are now under a drought emergency, with our Central Valley counties hit the hardest as they endure exceptional and record drought conditions. Fields are left to fallow forcing families, businesses, and farmers to put their livelihoods at risk with incredible uncertainty as to the future of their water supply. While your administration negotiates the final pieces of a water infrastructure budget package, we respectfully request careful and favorable consideration of increased funding for strong water infrastructure to create a reliable water supply for the Central Valley.
The communities we represent are the state's backbone when it comes to water conveyance and food production. The State Water Project, the Central Valley Water Project, and the Kern River all converge in the Central Valley fueling the more than $50 billion contribution to our state's economy.
Despite such a strong and positive economic impact, the Central Valley again bears the brunt of the state's lack of planning for long-term water storage. It has been over two months since the state's budget was signed into law, and yet it still lacks any drought assistance. Our water storage and conveyance systems are crumbling. It was not designed to accommodate 39 million people and environmental needs. While snowpack and precipitation levels dwindle, we need to maximize our water capture and storage infrastructure.
The unprecedented emergency curtailment recently adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board only amplifies the severity of the concerns farmers and families have had for years. Coupled with the Department of Water Resources proposed 13% to 18% rate increase for the San Joaquin Valley Region, our communities are in desperate need of relief.
Our state's survival and economic global standing depends on water. It is crucial for our region to have stability and confidence with our access to clean water and, we must all come together to find a solution to water storage and capacity challenges, especially amidst a drought.
Vince Fong - Assemblymember, 34th District
Shannon Grove - Senator, 16th District
Melissa Hurtado - Senator, 14th District
Andreas Borgeas - Senator, 8th District
Jim Patterson - Assemblymember, 23rd District
Devon Mathis - Assemblymember, 26th District
Frank Bigelow - Assemblymember, 5th District
Health Flora - Assemblymember, 12th District
Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th Assembly District, encompassing most of Kern County including the communities of Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, China Lake, Frazier Park, Golden Hills, Inyokern, Lebec, Oildale, Ridgecrest, Taft and Tehachapi.